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How should we remember the Battle of the Somme?

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Roshni Nayar

on 9 March 2014

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Transcript of How should we remember the Battle of the Somme?

How should we remember the Battle of the Somme?
1. The brutal campaign of attrition that achieved its main objectives.
2. A crucial battle that saved the French army
In WW1, the armies believed the
only way they could win was to
wear their enemies out and the
main plan was just to weaken the
other side.
The battle of the Somme started because the Germans wanted to capture the French fort at Verdun.
To relieve the pressure at Verdun, the british launched an attack near the Somme, meaning the German's had to send some of their men to the Somme. Because of this, the French won at Verdun, albeit with great costs.
2. A disaster
The Battle of the Somme failed because of several things. Some were due to issues in the planning in the battle, others were things you could not have known about.
One of the main reasons The Battle of the Somme failed is because General Haig, who was in charge at the time, overestimated the ability of the weapons. As it turned out, half the shells didn't explode, and they hardly touched the German trenches as
they were concrete-reinforced.
4. A great victory at a terrible cost
At the end of the day, it was a victory. The British had managed to kill 500,000 German men, while they had lost 420,000.
5. A shocking case of incompetent leadership on
the part of General Haig.

General Haig ordered the battle at Somme. He
lost 60,000 men on the first day itself, and that
made him on of the most controversial men in the
He believed in conventional tactics, and had a lot
if criticism saying that he should have learnt from the
first day and stopped the attack.

People disliked Haig so much, they started
calling the men led by him
"Lions led by donkeys."

6. One major step towards the defeat of Germany
7. A tribute to heroism of ordinary soldiers
8. An example on cynical political leaders shifting the blame on to military leaders.
9. An example of society being shocked by the reality of war and looking for someone to blame
The British soldiers who fought in the battle of the Somme - who were very much lions - were all mostly new.They were told that by the time the attack was done, there would be no Germans alive, and all they had to do was slowly walk towards the German trenches, and whatever they did, not to stop. But little did they know, the Germans knew about the attack and went underground, only to return after the bombs had stopped, None the less, the soldiers kept walking, resulting in many deaths.

Even though what they gained was small, the Germans had a lot of losses. This was one of the
main intersections, so the
Battle was a success.

The Battle of the Somme changed many
people's minds on what war was really
like, and when the public back home
found out, anti-war campaigns were

After the public found out about what was happening, they started blaming political leaders. The leaders then started blaming general Haig because there was no one else.
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